An increase in cryptocurrency mining increased the demand of graphics cards (GPU) in 2017. Popular favorites of cryptocurrency miners such as Nvidia’s GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 graphics cards, as well as AMD’s RX 570 and RX 580 GPUs, doubled or tripled in price – or were out of stock. A GTX 1070 Ti which was released at a price of $450 sold for as much as $1100. Another popular card GTX 1060's 6 GB model was released at an MSRP of $250, sold for almost $500. RX 570 and RX 580 cards from AMD were out of stock for almost a year. Miners regularly buy up the entire stock of new GPU's as soon as they are available.
Transactions that occur on the network such as, “Alice sends 10 bitcoins to Bob”, are collected by a miner and bundled up into a block. The miner then verifies that all transactions in the block are valid, as if he attempts to submit a block with an invalid transaction, the block will be rejected. An example of an invalid transaction would be Alice sending 10 Bitcoins to Bob, even though she does not have 10 Bitcoins to send.
ETC could be poised to survive for one major reason: Ethereum is moving towards a proof of stake system. Some people will undoubtedly want to use ETC over the new protocol because they prefer proof of work consensus. Coinbase also recently added ETC, which is a good sign this coin isn;t going anywhere soon. For these reasons, Ethereum Classic is a good investment.
Bitcoins are mined with powerful computer hardware and software. A maximum of 21 million Bitcoin will be available, after which no further bitcoins will be produced. The algorithm which governs the production of Bitcoin limits the quantity that will be produced, and the rate at which they will be produced. It is a finite commodity – there is a fixed amount, and that ensures that greater demand will always prop up the price. In this way, it is similar to other finite commodities such as crude oil, silver, or gold.